Impact of Orthoptic Services2024-06-04T10:59:09+01:00

Orthoptists make a huge contribution to healthcare services across the UK and Ireland. They provide expert diagnosis and treatment of vision defects within a range of different multi-disciplinary teams.

These pages contain information for use with Commissioners, Boards or Trusts to ensure that the value of Orthoptists in considered in the provision of services.

Impact of Orthoptists

Orthoptists are the experts in diagnosing and treating defects in eye movement and problems with how the eyes work together, called binocular vision.

Orthoptists see patients with a wide range of conditions affecting their vision. Patients may be directly experiencing symptoms such as blurred, oscillating or double vision, or they may exhibit outward signs, such as misalignment or uncontrolled movement of the eyes or abnormal head positions.

They are trained to offer a range of treatments in the management or correction of these conditions. This may include eye patches, eye exercises, prisms or glasses.

Having orthoptists as a core part of services provide a range of benefits:

  • Orthoptists identify signs which indicate life threatening conditions such as discreet or subtle eye movement disorders in brain tumours, diabetes and those at risk of stroke

  • Orthoptists assess, diagnose, treat and monitor visual impairment associated with long term conditions including multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, cardiovascular disease, special educational needs and learning disabilities.

  • Orthoptists treat double vision, give eye exercises and compensatory strategies and advice in patients recovering from traumatic brain injury ocular trauma, stroke or those who have fallen.

  • Orthoptists make reasonable adjustments for our patients, tailoring the assessment to their needs by providing orthoptic services in the community, closer to home, intermediate care facilities, in patients homes. orthoptists improve communication by working within health, educational and social care multi professional teams and working across organisational boundaries.

  • Orthoptists raise awareness of visual problems and treat visual defects for those people at risk of falling or who have fallen.

  • Orthoptists contribute to the public health outcome framework and public health agenda by offering preventative programmes:

    • Vision screening in children
    • Falls prevention
  • Educating patients on healthy lifestyle choices to improve outcomes for example:

    • Smoking cessation in patients with thyroid dysfunction
    • Dietary choices with patients with diabetes
    • Alcohol reduction advice in patients at risk of stroke
    • Promoting sight tests for those at risk of falling